Green Revolution

The Green Revolution, or Third Agricultural Revolution, is a set of research and technology transfer initiatives occurring between 1950 and the late 1960s, that increased agricultural production worldwide, particularly in the developing world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s.[1] The initiatives resulted in the adoption of new technologies, including high-yielding varieties (HYVs) of cereals, especially dwarf wheats and rices, in association with chemical fertilizers and agro-chemicals, and with controlled water-supply (usually involving irrigation) and new methods of cultivation, including mechanization. All of these together were seen as a 'package of practices' to supersede 'traditional' technology and to be adopted as a whole.[2]

Both the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation were heavily involved.[3] One key leader was Norman Borlaug, the "Father of the Green Revolution", who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. He is credited with saving over a billion people from starvation. The basic approach was the development of high-yielding varieties of cereal grains, expansion of irrigation infrastructure, modernization of management techniques, distribution of hybridized seeds, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides to farmers.

The term "Green Revolution" was first used in a speech on 8 March 1968 by the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), William S. Gaud, who noted the spread of the new technologies: "These and other developments in the field of agriculture contain the makings of a new revolution. It is not a violent Red Revolution like that of the Soviets, nor is it a White Revolution like that of the Shah of Iran. I call it the Green Revolution."[4][5]

Cropduster spraying pesticides
After the Second World War, increased deployment of technologies including pesticides and fertilizers as well as new breeds of high yield crops greatly increased global food production.


In Mexico

It has been argued that "during the twentieth century two 'revolutions' transformed rural Mexico: the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920) and the Green Revolution (1950–1970)".[6] With the support of the Mexican government, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Rockefeller Foundation, Mexico made a concerted effort to transform agricultural productivity, particularly with irrigated rather than dry-land cultivation in its northwest, to solve its problem of lack of food self-sufficiency.[7] In the center and south of Mexico, where large-scale production faced challenges, agricultural production languished.[8] Increased production meant food self-sufficiency in Mexico to feed its growing and urbanizing population, with the number of calories consumed per Mexican increasing.[9] Technology was seen as a valuable way to feed the poor, and would relieve some pressure of the land redistribution process.[10]

Mexico was the recipient of Green Revolution knowledge and technology, and it was an active participant with financial support from the government for agriculture as well as Mexican agronomists. Although the Mexican Revolution had broken the back of the hacienda system and land reform in Mexico had by 1940 distributed a large expanse of land in central and southern Mexico, agricultural productivity had fallen. During the administration of Manuel Avila Camacho (1940–46), the government put resources into developing new breeds of plants and partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation.[11] In 1943, the Mexican government founded the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), which became a base for international agricultural research.

Agriculture in Mexico had been a sociopolitical issue, a key factor in some regions' participation in the Mexican Revolution. It was also a technical issue, enabled by a cohort of trained agronomists, who were to advise peasants how to increase productivity.[12] In the post-World War II era, the government sought development in agriculture that bettered technological aspects of agriculture in regions that were not dominated by small-scale peasant cultivators. This drive for agricultural transformation would have the benefit of keeping Mexico self-sufficient in food and in the political sphere with the Cold War, potentially stem unrest and the appeal of Communism.[11] Technical aid can be seen as also serving political ends in the international sphere. In Mexico, it also served political ends, separating peasant agriculture based on the ejido and considered one of the victories of the Mexican Revolution, from agribusiness that requires large-scale land ownership, irrigation, specialized seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, machinery, and a low-wage paid labor force.

The government created the Mexican Agricultural Program (MAP) to be the lead organization in raising productivity. One of their successes was wheat production, with varieties the agency's scientists helped create dominating wheat production as early as 1951 (70%), 1965 (80%), and 1968 (90%).[13] Mexico became the showcase for extending the Green Revolution to other areas of Latin America and beyond, into Africa and Asia. New breeds of maize, beans, and wheat produced bumper crops with proper inputs (such as fertilizer and pesticides) and careful cultivation. Many Mexican farmers who had been dubious about the scientists or hostile to them (often a mutual relationship of discord) came to see the scientific approach to agriculture as worth adopting.[14]

In rice: IR8 and the Philippines

In 1960, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines with the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation established the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). A rice crossing between Dee-Geo-woo-gen and Peta was done at IRRI in 1962. In 1966, one of the breeding lines became a new cultivar, IR8.[15] IR8 required the use of fertilizers and pesticides, but produced substantially higher yields than the traditional cultivars. Annual rice production in the Philippines increased from 3.7 to 7.7 million tons in two decades.[16] The switch to IR8 rice made the Philippines a rice exporter for the first time in the 20th century.[17]

Start in India

In 1961, India was on the brink of mass famine.[18] Norman Borlaug was invited to India by the adviser to the Indian minister of agriculture Dr.M.S Swaminathan. Despite bureaucratic hurdles imposed by India's grain monopolies, the Ford Foundation and Indian government collaborated to import wheat seed from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). Punjab was selected by the Indian government to be the first site to try the new crops because of its reliable water supply and a history of agricultural success. India began its own Green Revolution program of plant breeding, irrigation development, and financing of agrochemicals.[19]

India soon adopted IR8 – a semi-dwarf rice variety developed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) that could produce more grains of rice per plant when grown with certain fertilizers and irrigation.[20] In 1968, Indian agronomist S.K. De Datta published his findings that IR8 rice yielded about 5 tons per hectare with no fertilizer, and almost 10 tons per hectare under optimal conditions. This was 10 times the yield of traditional rice.[21] IR8 was a success throughout Asia, and dubbed the "Miracle Rice". IR8 was also developed into Semi-dwarf IR36.

Wheat yields in Least Developed Countries
Wheat yields in least developed countries since 1961, in kilograms per hectare.

In the 1960s, rice yields in India were about two tons per hectare; by the mid-1990s, they had risen to six tons per hectare. In the 1970s, rice cost about $550 a ton; in 2001, it cost under $200 a ton.[22] India became one of the world's most successful rice producers, and is now a major rice exporter, shipping nearly 4.5 million tons in 2006.

Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research – CGIAR

In 1970, foundation officials proposed a worldwide network of agricultural research centers under a permanent secretariat. This was further supported and developed by the World Bank; on 19 May 1971, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) was established. co-sponsored by the FAO, IFAD and UNDP. CGIAR has added many research centers throughout the world.

CGIAR has responded, at least in part, to criticisms of Green Revolution methodologies. This began in the 1980s, and mainly was a result of pressure from donor organizations.[23] Methods like Agroecosystem Analysis and Farming System Research have been adopted to gain a more holistic view of agriculture.

Brazil's agricultural revolution

Brazil's vast inland cerrado region was regarded as unfit for farming before the 1960s because the soil was too acidic and poor in nutrients, according to Norman Borlaug. However, from the 1960s, vast quantities of lime (pulverised chalk or limestone) were poured on the soil to reduce acidity. The effort went on for decades; by the late 1990s, between 14 million and 16 million tonnes of lime were being spread on Brazilian fields each year. The quantity rose to 25 million tonnes in 2003 and 2004, equalling around five tonnes of lime per hectare. As a result, Brazil has become the world's second biggest soybean exporter. Soybeans are also widely used in animal feed, and the large volume of soy produced in Brazil has contributed to Brazil's rise to become the biggest exporter of beef and poultry in the world.[24] Several parallels can also be found in Argentina's boom in soybean production as well.[25]

Problems in Africa

There have been numerous attempts to introduce the successful concepts from the Mexican and Indian projects into Africa.[26] These programs have generally been less successful. Reasons cited include widespread corruption, insecurity, a lack of infrastructure, and a general lack of will on the part of the governments. Yet environmental factors, such as the availability of water for irrigation, the high diversity in slope and soil types in one given area are also reasons why the Green Revolution is not so successful in Africa.[27]

A recent program in western Africa is attempting to introduce a new high-yielding 'family' of rice varieties known as "New Rice for Africa" (NERICA). NERICA varieties yield about 30% more rice under normal conditions, and can double yields with small amounts of fertilizer and very basic irrigation. However, the program has been beset by problems getting the rice into the hands of farmers, and to date the only success has been in Guinea, where it currently accounts for 16% of rice cultivation.[28]

After a famine in 2001 and years of chronic hunger and poverty, in 2005 the small African country of Malawi launched the "Agricultural Input Subsidy Program" by which vouchers are given to smallholder farmers to buy subsidized nitrogen fertilizer and maize seeds.[29] Within its first year, the program was reported to have had extreme success, producing the largest maize harvest of the country's history, enough to feed the country with tons of maize left over. The program has advanced yearly ever since. Various sources claim that the program has been an unusual success, hailing it as a "miracle".[30]

Agricultural production and food security


New varieties of wheat and other grains were instrumental to the green revolution.

The Green Revolution spread technologies that already existed, but had not been widely implemented outside industrialized nations. Two kinds of technologies were used in the Green Revolution and aim at cultivation and breeding area respectively. The technologies in cultivation are targeted at providing excellent growing conditions, which included modern irrigation projects, pesticides, and synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. The breeding technologies aimed at improving crop varieties developed through the conventional, science-based methods available at the time. These technologies included hybrids, combining modern genetics with selections.[31]

High-Yielding Varieties

The novel technological development of the Green Revolution was the production of novel wheat cultivars. Agronomists bred cultivars of maize, wheat, and rice that are generally referred to as HYVs or "high-yielding varieties". HYVs have higher nitrogen-absorbing potential than other varieties. Since cereals that absorbed extra nitrogen would typically lodge, or fall over before harvest, semi-dwarfing genes were bred into their genomes. A Japanese dwarf wheat cultivar Norin 10 developed by a Japanese agronomist Gonjiro Inazuka, which was sent to Orville Vogel at Washington State University by Cecil Salmon, was instrumental in developing Green Revolution wheat cultivars. IR8, the first widely implemented HYV rice to be developed by IRRI, was created through a cross between an Indonesian variety named "Peta" and a Chinese variety named "Dee-geo-woo-gen".[32] In the 1960s, when a food crisis happened in Asia, the spread of HYV rice was aggravated intensely.[33]

Dr. Norman Borlaug, who is usually recognized as the "Father of the Green Revolution", bred rust-resistant cultivars which have strong and firm stems, preventing them from falling over under extreme weather at high levels of fertilization. CIMMYT(Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo—International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvements) conducted these breeding programs and helped spread high-yielding varieties in Mexico and countries in Asia like India and Pakistan. These programs successfully led the harvest double in these countries.[31]

Plant scientists figured out several parameters related to the high yield and identified the related genes which control the plant height and tiller number.[34] With advances in molecular genetics, the mutant genes responsible for Arabidopsis thaliana genes (GA 20-oxidase,[35] ga1,[36] ga1-3[37]), wheat reduced-height genes (Rht)[38] and a rice semidwarf gene (sd1)[39] were cloned. These were identified as gibberellin biosynthesis genes or cellular signaling component genes. Stem growth in the mutant background is significantly reduced leading to the dwarf phenotype. Photosynthetic investment in the stem is reduced dramatically as the shorter plants are inherently more stable mechanically. Assimilates become redirected to grain production, amplifying in particular the effect of chemical fertilizers on commercial yield.

HYVs significantly outperform traditional varieties in the presence of adequate irrigation, pesticides, and fertilizers. In the absence of these inputs, traditional varieties may outperform HYVs. Therefore, several authors have challenged the apparent superiority of HYVs not only compared to the traditional varieties alone, but by contrasting the monocultural system associated with HYVs with the polycultural system associated with traditional ones.[40]

Production increases

Cereal production more than doubled in developing nations between the years 1961–1985.[41] Yields of rice, maize, and wheat increased steadily during that period.[41] The production increases can be attributed roughly equally to irrigation, fertilizer, and seed development, at least in the case of Asian rice.[41]

While agricultural output increased as a result of the Green Revolution, the energy input to produce a crop has increased faster,[42] so that the ratio of crops produced to energy input has decreased over time. Green Revolution techniques also heavily rely on chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and defoliants and rely on machines, which as of 2014 rely on or are derived from crude oil, making agriculture increasingly reliant on crude oil extraction.[43] Proponents of the Peak Oil theory fear that a future decline in oil and gas production would lead to a decline in food production or even a Malthusian catastrophe.[44]

World population history
World population 1950–2010

Effects on food security

The effects of the Green Revolution on global food security are difficult to assess because of the complexities involved in food systems.

The world population has grown by about five billion[45] since the beginning of the Green Revolution and many believe that, without the Revolution, there would have been greater famine and malnutrition. India saw annual wheat production rise from 10 million tons in the 1960s to 73 million in 2006.[46] The average person in the developing world consumes roughly 25% more calories per day now than before the Green Revolution.[41] Between 1950 and 1984, as the Green Revolution transformed agriculture around the globe, world grain production increased by about 160%.[47]

The production increases fostered by the Green Revolution are often credited with having helped to avoid widespread famine, and for feeding billions of people.[48]

There are also claims that the Green Revolution has decreased food security for a large number of people. One claim involves the shift of subsistence-oriented cropland to cropland oriented towards production of grain for export or animal feed. For example, the Green Revolution replaced much of the land used for pulses that fed Indian peasants for wheat, which did not make up a large portion of the peasant diet.[49]

Food security

Malthusian criticism

Some criticisms generally involve some variation of the Malthusian principle of population. Such concerns often revolve around the idea that the Green Revolution is unsustainable,[50] and argue that humanity is now in a state of overpopulation or overshoot with regards to the sustainable carrying capacity and ecological demands on the Earth.

Although 36 million people die each year as a direct or indirect result of hunger and poor nutrition,[51] Malthus's more extreme predictions have frequently failed to materialize. In 1798 Thomas Malthus made his prediction of impending famine.[52] The world's population had doubled by 1923 and doubled again by 1973 without fulfilling Malthus's prediction. Malthusian Paul R. Ehrlich, in his 1968 book The Population Bomb, said that "India couldn't possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980" and "Hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs."[52] Ehrlich's warnings failed to materialize when India became self-sustaining in cereal production in 1974 (six years later) as a result of the introduction of Norman Borlaug's dwarf wheat varieties.[52]

However, Borlaug was well aware of the implications of population growth. In his Nobel lecture he repeatedly presented improvements in food production within a sober understanding of the context of population. "The green revolution has won a temporary success in man's war against hunger and deprivation; it has given man a breathing space. If fully implemented, the revolution can provide sufficient food for sustenance during the next three decades. But the frightening power of human reproduction must also be curbed; otherwise the success of the green revolution will be ephemeral only. Most people still fail to comprehend the magnitude and menace of the "Population Monster"...Since man is potentially a rational being, however, I am confident that within the next two decades he will recognize the self-destructive course he steers along the road of irresponsible population growth..."

Hubbert peak oil plot
M. King Hubbert's prediction of world petroleum production rates. Modern agriculture is largely reliant on petroleum energy.[53]


To some modern Western sociologists and writers, increasing food production is not synonymous with increasing food security, and is only part of a larger equation. For example, Harvard professor Amartya Sen wrote that large historic famines were not caused by decreases in food supply, but by socioeconomic dynamics and a failure of public action.[54] Economist Peter Bowbrick disputes Sen's theory, arguing that Sen relies on inconsistent arguments and contradicts available information, including sources that Sen himself cited.[55] Bowbrick further argues that Sen's views coincide with that of the Bengal government at the time of the Bengal famine of 1943, and the policies Sen advocates failed to relieve the famine.[55]

Quality of diet

Some have challenged the value of the increased food production of Green Revolution agriculture. Miguel A. Altieri, (a pioneer of agroecology and peasant-advocate), writes that the comparison between traditional systems of agriculture and Green Revolution agriculture has been unfair, because Green Revolution agriculture produces monocultures of cereal grains, while traditional agriculture usually incorporates polycultures.

These monoculture crops are often used for export, feed for animals, or conversion into biofuel. According to Emile Frison of Bioversity International, the Green Revolution has also led to a change in dietary habits, as fewer people are affected by hunger and die from starvation, but many are affected by malnutrition such as iron or vitamin-A deficiencies.[27] Frison further asserts that almost 60% of yearly deaths of children under age five in developing countries are related to malnutrition.[27]

The strategies developed by the Green Revolution focused on fend off starvation and was very successful in raising overall yields of cereal grains, but did not give sufficient relevance to nutritional quality.[56] High yield-cereal crops have low quality proteins, with essential amino acid deficiencies, are high in carbohydrates, and lack balanced essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and other quality factors.[56]

High-yield rice (HYR), introduced since 1964 to poverty-ridden Asian countries, such as the Philippines, was found to have inferior flavor and be more glutinous and less savory than their native varieties. This caused its price to be lower than the average market value.[57]

In the Philippines the introduction of heavy pesticides to rice production, in the early part of the Green Revolution, poisoned and killed off fish and weedy green vegetables that traditionally coexisted in rice paddies. These were nutritious food sources for many poor Filipino farmers prior to the introduction of pesticides, further impacting the diets of locals.[58]

Political impact

A major critic[59] of the Green Revolution, U.S. investigative journalist Mark Dowie, writes:[60]

The primary objective of the program was geopolitical: to provide food for the populace in undeveloped countries and so bring social stability and weaken the fomenting of communist insurgency.

Citing internal Foundation documents, Dowie states that the Ford Foundation had a greater concern than Rockefeller in this area.[61]

There is significant evidence that the Green Revolution weakened socialist movements in many nations. In countries such as India, Mexico, and the Philippines, technological solutions were sought as an alternative to expanding agrarian reform initiatives, the latter of which were often linked to socialist politics.[62][63]

Socioeconomic impacts

The transition from traditional agriculture, in which inputs were generated on-farm, to Green Revolution agriculture, which required the purchase of inputs, led to the widespread establishment of rural credit institutions. Smaller farmers often went into debt, which in many cases results in a loss of their farmland.[23][64] The increased level of mechanization on larger farms made possible by the Green Revolution removed a large source of employment from the rural economy.[23]

The new economic difficulties of smallholder farmers and landless farm workers led to increased rural-urban migration. The increase in food production led to a cheaper food for urban dwellers, and the increase in urban population increased the potential for industrialization.

According to a 2018 paper, a 10 percentage points increase in the use of high-yielding crop varieties in developing countries in the period 1960-2000 led to increases in GDP per capita of approximately 15 percent.[65]

Environmental impact

Increased use of irrigation played a major role in the green revolution.


The spread of Green Revolution agriculture affected both agricultural biodiversity (or agrodiversity) and wild biodiversity.[58] There is little disagreement that the Green Revolution acted to reduce agricultural biodiversity, as it relied on just a few high-yield varieties of each crop.

This has led to concerns about the susceptibility of a food supply to pathogens that cannot be controlled by agrochemicals, as well as the permanent loss of many valuable genetic traits bred into traditional varieties over thousands of years. To address these concerns, massive seed banks such as Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research’s (CGIAR) International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (now Bioversity International) have been established (see Svalbard Global Seed Vault).

There are varying opinions about the effect of the Green Revolution on wild biodiversity. One hypothesis speculates that by increasing production per unit of land area, agriculture will not need to expand into new, uncultivated areas to feed a growing human population.[66] However, land degradation and soil nutrients depletion have forced farmers to clear up formerly forested areas in order to keep up with production.[67] A counter-hypothesis speculates that biodiversity was sacrificed because traditional systems of agriculture that were displaced sometimes incorporated practices to preserve wild biodiversity, and because the Green Revolution expanded agricultural development into new areas where it was once unprofitable or too arid. For example, the development of wheat varieties tolerant to acid soil conditions with high aluminium content, permitted the introduction of agriculture in sensitive Brazilian ecosystems such as Cerrado semi-humid tropical savanna and Amazon rainforest in the geoeconomic macroregions of Centro-Sul and Amazônia.[66] Before the Green Revolution, other Brazilian ecosystems were also significantly damaged by human activity, such as the once 1st or 2nd main contributor to Brazilian megadiversity Atlantic Rainforest (above 85% of deforestation in the 1980s, about 95% after the 2010s) and the important xeric shrublands called Caatinga mainly in Northeastern Brazil (about 40% in the 1980s, about 50% after the 2010s — deforestation of the Caatinga biome is generally associated with greater risks of desertification). This also caused many animal species to suffer due to their damaged habitats.

Nevertheless, the world community has clearly acknowledged the negative aspects of agricultural expansion as the 1992 Rio Treaty, signed by 189 nations, has generated numerous national Biodiversity Action Plans which assign significant biodiversity loss to agriculture's expansion into new domains.

The Green Revolution has been criticized for an agricultural model which relied on a few staple and market profitable crops, and pursuing a model which limited the biodiversity of Mexico. One of the critics against these techniques and the Green Revolution as a whole was Carl O. Sauer, a geography professor at the University of California, Berkeley. According to Sauer these techniques of plant breeding would result in negative effects on the country's resources, and the culture:

"A good aggressive bunch of American agronomists and plant breeders could ruin the native resources for good and all by pushing their American commercial stocks… And Mexican agriculture cannot be pointed toward standardization on a few commercial types without upsetting native economy and culture hopelessly... Unless the Americans understand that, they'd better keep out of this country entirely. That must be approached from an appreciation of native economies as being basically sound".[68]

Greenhouse gas emissions

According to a study published in 2013 in PNAS, in the absence of the crop germplasm improvement associated with the Green Revolution, greenhouse gas emissions would have been 5.2-7.4 Gt higher than observed in 1965–2004.[69] High yield agriculture has dramatic effects on the amount of carbon cycling in the atmosphere. The way in which farms are grown, in tandem with the seasonal carbon cycling of various crops, could alter the impact carbon in the atmosphere has on global warming. Wheat, rice, and soybean crops account for a significant amount of the increase in carbon in the atmosphere over the last 50 years.[70]

Dependence on non-renewable resources

Most high intensity agricultural production is highly reliant on non-renewable resources. Agricultural machinery and transport, as well as the production of pesticides and nitrates all depend on fossil fuels.[71] Moreover, the essential mineral nutrient phosphorus is often a limiting factor in crop cultivation, while phosphorus mines are rapidly being depleted worldwide.[72] The failure to depart from these non-sustainable agricultural production methods could potentially lead to a large scale collapse of the current system of intensive food production within this century.

Health impact

The consumption of the pesticides used to kill pests by humans in some cases may be increasing the likelihood of cancer in some of the rural villages using them.[73] Poor farming practices including non-compliance to usage of masks and over-usage of the chemicals compound this situation.[73] In 1989, WHO and UNEP estimated that there were around 1 million human pesticide poisonings annually. Some 20,000 (mostly in developing countries) ended in death, as a result of poor labeling, loose safety standards etc.[74]

Pesticides and cancer

Contradictory epidemiologic studies in humans have linked phenoxy acid herbicides or contaminants in them with soft tissue sarcoma (STS) and malignant lymphoma, organochlorine insecticides with STS, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), leukemia, and, less consistently, with cancers of the lung and breast, organophosphorous compounds with NHL and leukemia, and triazine herbicides with ovarian cancer.[75][76]

Punjab case

The Indian state of Punjab pioneered green revolution among the other states transforming India into a food-surplus country.[77] The state is witnessing serious consequences of intensive farming using chemicals and pesticides. A comprehensive study conducted by Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has underlined the direct relationship between indiscriminate use of these chemicals and increased incidence of cancer in this region.[78] An increase in the number of cancer cases has been reported in several villages including Jhariwala, Koharwala, Puckka, Bhimawali, and Khara.[78]

Environmental activist Vandana Shiva has written extensively about the social, political and economic impacts of the Green Revolution in Punjab. She claims that the Green Revolution's reliance on heavy use of chemical inputs and monocultures has resulted in water scarcity, vulnerability to pests, and incidents of violent conflict and social marginalization.[79]

A Greenpeace Research Laboratories investigation of 50 villages in Muktsar, Bathinda and Ludhiana districts revealed that twenty percent of the sampled wells had nitrate levels above WHO limits for drinking water. The 2009 study linked the nitrate pollution with high use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.[80]

Norman Borlaug's response to criticism

Borlaug dismissed certain claims of critics, but also cautioned, "There are no miracles in agricultural production. Nor is there such a thing as a miracle variety of wheat, rice, or maize which can serve as an elixir to cure all ills of a stagnant, traditional agriculture."[81]

Of environmental lobbyists, he said:

"some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They've never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels...If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things".[82]

The New Green Revolution

Although the Green Revolution has been able to improve agricultural output in some regions in the world, there was and is still room for improvement. As a result, many organizations continue to invent new ways to improve the techniques already used in the Green Revolution. Frequently quoted inventions are the System of Rice Intensification,[83] marker-assisted selection,[84] agroecology,[85] and applying existing technologies to agricultural problems of the developing world.[86] Current challenges for nations trying to modernize their agriculture include closing the urban-rural income gap, integration of smallholders into value chains, and maintaining competitiveness in the market.[87] However, in low-income countries, chronic problems such as poverty and hunger cause agricultural modernization efforts constrained.[88] It is projected that global populations by 2050 will increase by one-third and as such will require a 70% increase in the production of food.[89] As such, the Second Green Revolution will likely focus on improving tolerances to pests and disease in addition to technological input use efficiency.

See also


  1. ^ Hazell, Peter B.R. (2009). The Asian Green Revolution. IFPRI Discussion Paper. Intl Food Policy Res Inst. GGKEY:HS2UT4LADZD.
  2. ^ Farmer, B. H. (1986). "Perspectives on the 'Green Revolution'in South Asia". Modern Asian Studies. 20 (1): 175–199. doi:10.1017/s0026749x00013627.
  3. ^ Gary Toenniessen et al. "Building an alliance for a green revolution in Africa." Annals of the New York academy of sciences 1136.1 (2008): 233-242. online
  4. ^ Gaud, William S. (8 March 1968). "The Green Revolution: Accomplishments and Apprehensions". AgBioWorld. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  5. ^ Marie-Monique Robin, The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption, and the Control of the World's Food Supply (The New Press, 2010) p308
  6. ^ Joseph Cotter, Troubled Harvest: Agronomy and Revolution in Mexico, 1880–2002, Westport, CT: Praeger. Contributions in Latin American Studies, no. 22, 2003, p. 1.
  7. ^ David Barkin, "Food Production, Consumption, and Policy", Encyclopedia of Mexico vol. 1, p. 494. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997.
  8. ^ James W. Wessman, "Agribusiness and Agroindustry", Encyclopedia of Mexico vol. 1, p. 29. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers 1997
  9. ^ Barkin, "Food Production", p. 494.
  10. ^ Jennifer, Clapp. Food. p. 34.
  11. ^ a b Cotter, p. 11
  12. ^ Cotter, p. 10
  13. ^ Cotter, p. 233.
  14. ^ Cotter, p. 235
  15. ^ IRRI Early research and training results Archived 17 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine (pdf)pp.106–109.
  16. ^ "Rice paddies". FAO Fisheries & Aquaculture. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  17. ^ Friday, 14 Jun. 1968 (14 June 1968). "Rice of the Gods". TIME. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  18. ^ "India Girds for Famine Linked With Flowering of Bamboo". Archived from the original on 5 August 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
  19. ^ "Newsroom: News Releases". CGIAR. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
  20. ^ Rowlatt, Justin (2016-12-01). "IR8: The miracle rice which saved millions of lives". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  21. ^ De Datta SK, Tauro AC, Balaoing SN (1 November 1968). "Effect of plant type and nitrogen level on growth characteristics and grain yield of indica rice in the tropics". Agron. J. 60 (6): 643–7. doi:10.2134/agronj1968.00021962006000060017x. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008.
  22. ^ Barta, Patrick (28 July 2007). "Feeding Billions, A Grain at a Time". The Wall Street Journal. pp. A1.
  23. ^ a b c Oasa 1987
  24. ^ The Economist. Brazilian agriculture: The miracle of the cerrado. August 26, 2010.
  25. ^ Al Jazeera English (2013-03-13), People & Power - Argentina: The Bad Seeds, retrieved 2016-10-10
  26. ^ Groniger, Wout (2009). Debating Development – A historical analysis of the Sasakawa Global 2000 project in Ghana and indigenous knowledge as an alternative approach to agricultural development (Master thesis). Universiteit Utrecht. Archived from the original on 3 March 2012.
  27. ^ a b c Emile Frison (May 2008). "Biodiversity: Indispensable resources". D+C. 49 (5): 190–3. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. If there is to be a Green Revolution for Africa, it will be necessary to breed improved varieties and, indeed, livestock. That task will depend on access to the genetic resources inherent in agricultural biodiversity. However, biodiversity is also important for tackling malnutrition as well as food security.
  28. ^ Dugger, Celia W. (10 October 2007). "In Africa, Prosperity From Seeds Falls Short". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  29. ^ Chibwana, Christopher; Fisher, Monica. "The Impacts of Agricultural Input Subsidies in Malawi". International Food Policy Research Institute. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  30. ^ Malawi Miracle article on the BBC website. According to the UN website on Malawi the program was highly effective. This website highlights the women farmers program. The claims of success are substantiated by Malawi government claims at Malawi National Statistics Organization site Archived 13 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine. The international WaterAid organisation seems to contradict these facts with its report on plans from 2005–2010. Similarly, the Major League Gaming reported that Malawi had noted problems including lack of transparency and administrative difficulties. This follows with a recent (2010) Malawi newspaper tells of UN report Archived 8 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine with Malawi one of the lowest on the UN list of developing states, confirmed by this UN World Food Program report. Another report from the Institute for Security Studies Archived 13 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine from 2005, showed corruption still prevailing in Malawi at that time.
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  • Dr Arvind Upadhayaya. "Black spots in Green revolution".
  • Conway, Gordon (1998). The doubly green revolution: food for all in the twenty-first century. Ithaca, N.Y: Comstock Pub. ISBN 978-0-8014-8610-4.
  • Dowie, Mark (2001). American foundations: an investigative history. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT. ISBN 978-0-262-04189-8.
  • Farrell, John Joseph; Altieri, Miguel A. (1995). Agroecology: the science of sustainable agriculture (2nd ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview. ISBN 978-0-8133-1718-2.
  • Frison, Emile (2008). "Green Revolution in Africa will depend on biodiversity". Development and Cooperation. 49 (5): 190–3. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008.
  • Jain, H.K. (2010). The Green Revolution: History, Impact and Future (1st ed.). Houston, TX: Studium Press. ISBN 978-1-933699-63-9.
  • Oasa, Edmund K (1987). "The Political Economy of International Agricultural Research in Glass". In Glaeser, Bernhard. The Green Revolution revisited: critique and alternatives. Allen & Unwin. pp. 13–55. ISBN 978-0-04-630014-2.
  • Ross, Eric (1998). The Malthus Factor: Poverty, Politics and Population in Capitalist Development. London: Zed Books. ISBN 978-1-85649-564-6.
  • Ruttan, Vernon (1977). "The Green Revolution: Seven Generalizations". International Development Review. 19: 16–23.
  • Sen, Amartya Kumar; Drèze, Jean (1989). Hunger and public action. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-828365-2.
  • Shiva, Vandana (1989). The violence of the green revolution: Ecological degradation and political conflict in Punjab. Dehra Dun: Research Foundation for Science and Ecology. ISBN 978-81-85019-19-2.
  • Smil, Vaclav (2004). Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, and the Transformation of World Food Production. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-69313-4.
  • Spitz, Pierre (1987). "The Green Revolution Re-Examined in India in Glass". In Glaeser, Bernhard. The Green Revolution revisited: critique and alternatives. Allen & Unwin. pp. 57–75. ISBN 978-0-04-630014-2.
  • Wright, Angus (1984). "Innocence Abroad: American Agricultural Research in Mexico". In Bruce Colman; Jackson, Wes; Berry, Wendell. Meeting the expectations of the land: essays in sustainable agriculture and stewardship. San Francisco: North Point Press. pp. 124–38. ISBN 978-0-86547-171-9.
  • Wright, Angus Lindsay (2005). The death of Ramón González: the modern agricultural dilemma. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-71268-3.

Further reading

  • Cotter, Joseph. Troubled Harvest: Agronomy and Revolution in Mexico, 1880–2002. Westport, CT: Prager, 2003.
  • Jain, H.K. (2010). Green revolution: history, impact and future. Houston: Studium Press. ISBN 9781441674487. A brief history, for general readers.
  • Harwood, Andrew (14 June 2013). "Development policy and history: lessons from the Green Revolution".

External links

2009 Iranian presidential election protests

Protests against the highly controversial 2009 Iranian presidential election results (Persian: اعتراضات علیه نتایج انتخابات ریاست جمهوری سال ۱۳۸۸‎) (a disputed victory by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad), in support of opposition candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, occurred in major cities nationwide from 2009 into early 2010. The protests were titled Iranian Green Movement (Persian: جنبش سبز‎ Jonbesh-e Sabz) by its proponents, reflecting Mousavi's campaign theme, and Persian Awakening, Persian Spring or Green Revolution, reflecting the "Persian identity" of Iranians and the so-called "colour revolution" theme.Protests began the night of 12 June 2009, following the announcement that incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won nearly 63% of the vote, despite several reported irregularities. However, all three opposition candidates claimed the votes were manipulated and the election was rigged, with Rezaee and Mousavi lodging official complaints. Mousavi announced he "won't surrender to this manipulation", before lodging an official appeal against the result to the Guardian Council on 14 June. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered an investigation into the claims of electoral fraud and irregularities, as requested by Green Movement leaders. Ahmadinejad called the election "completely free" and the outcome a "great victory" for Iran, dismissing the protests as akin to little more than "passions after a soccer match".Despite the entirely non-violent nature of the protests, the government deemed them unacceptable and had the police and paramilitary Basij violently suppress them; protesters were beaten, pepper sprayed, arrested and tortured, and even shot in some cases. The most widely known firearm victim was Neda Agha-Soltan, whose last moments were uploaded to YouTube and broadcast around the world. Opposition groups also reported thousands more were arrested and tortured in prisons around the country, with former inmates alleging mass rape of men, women and children by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, in prisons such as Kahrizak and Evin. The Iranian government confirmed the deaths of 36 people during the protests, while unconfirmed reports by Mousavi supporters allege at least 72 deaths (over twice as many) in the three months following the election. They claimed relatives of the deceased were forced to sign documents citing death by heart attack or meningitis. Iranian authorities closed universities in Tehran, blocked websites, cutoff mobile signals and banned rallies.The creation of the Iranian Green Movement developed during these protests. It was also termed the "Twitter Revolution", due to protesters' reliance on Twitter and other social media to communicate.

Agricultural revolution

Agricultural revolution may refer to:

First Agricultural Revolution (circa 10,000 BC), the prehistoric transition from hunting and gathering to settled agriculture (also known as the Neolithic Revolution)

Arab Agricultural Revolution (8th–13th century), the spread of new crops and advanced techniques in the Muslim world

British Agricultural Revolution (17th–19th century), an unprecedented increase in agricultural productivity in Great Britain (also known as the Second Agricultural Revolution)

Scottish Agricultural Revolution (17th–19th century), the transformation into a modern and productive system

Third Agricultural Revolution (1930s–1960s), an increase in agricultural production, especially in the developing world (also known as the Green Revolution)

Agriculture in India

The history of Agriculture in India dates back to Indus Valley Civilization Era and even before that in some parts of Southern India. India ranks second worldwide in farm outputs. As per 2018, Agriculture employed 50% of the Indian work force and contributed 17-18% to country's GDP.In 2016. Agriculture and allied sectors like animal husbandry, forestry and fisheries accounted for 15.4% of the GDP (gross domestic product) with about 31% of the workforce in 2014. India ranks first globally with highest net cropped area followed by US and China. The economic contribution of agriculture to India's GDP is steadily declining with the country's broad-based economic growth. Still, agriculture is demographically the broadest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic fabric of India.

India exported $38 billion worth of agricultural products in 2013, making it the seventh largest agricultural exporter worldwide and the sixth largest net exporter. Most of its agriculture exports serve developing and least developed nations. Indian agricultural/horticultural and processed foods are exported to more than 120 countries, primarily in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, SAARC countries, the European Union and the United States.

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is an organization dealing with agricultural products in Africa. It is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the Rockefeller Foundation. Broadly, it deals with improving agricultural products and supporting local farm owners and labor.

The late Kofi Annan was on its board of directors; various other members are internationally eminent in fields such as agriculture, policy management or planning and coordination, such as its president since 2014, Agnes Kalibata.

Arab Agricultural Revolution

The Arab Agricultural Revolution is the transformation in agriculture from the 8th to the 13th century in the Islamic region of the Old World. The agronomic literature of the time, with major books by Ibn Bassal and Abū l-Khayr al-Ishbīlī, demonstrates the extensive diffusion of useful plants to Medieval Spain (al-Andalus), and the growth in Islamic scientific knowledge of agriculture and horticulture. Medieval Arab historians and geographers described al-Andalus as a fertile and prosperous region with abundant water, full of fruit from trees such as the olive and pomegranate. Archaeological evidence demonstrates improvements in animal husbandry and in irrigation such as with the sakia water wheel. These changes made agriculture far more productive, supporting population growth, urbanisation, and increased stratification of society.

The revolution was first described by the historian Antonio Garcia Maceira in 1876. The name was coined by the historian Andrew Watson in an influential but at the time controversial 1974 paper. However, 40 years on, it has proven useful to historians and has been supported by findings in archaeology and archaeobotany.


A cereal is any grass cultivated for the edible components of its grain (botanically, a type of fruit called a caryopsis), composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran. The term may also refer to the resulting grain itself. Cereal grain crops are grown in greater quantities and provide more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop and are therefore staple crops. Edible grains from other plant families, such as buckwheat (Polygonaceae), quinoa (Amaranthaceae) and chia (Lamiaceae), are referred to as pseudocereals.

In their natural, unprocessed, whole grain form, cereals are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, oils, and protein. When processed by the removal of the bran, and germ, the remaining endosperm is mostly carbohydrate. In some developing countries, grain in the form of rice, wheat, millet, or maize constitutes a majority of daily sustenance. In developed countries, cereal consumption is moderate and varied but still substantial.

The word cereal is derived from Ceres, the Roman goddess of harvest and agriculture.

Chidambaram Subramaniam

Chidambaram Subramaniam (commonly known as CS) (30 January 1910 – 7 November 2000), was an Indian politician and Independence activist. He served as Minister of Finance and Minister of Defence in the union cabinet. He later served as the Governor of Maharashtra. As the Minister for Food and Agriculture, he ushered the Indian Green Revolution, an era of self-sufficiency in food production along with M. S. Swaminathan, B. Sivaraman and Norman E. Borlaug. He was awarded Bharat Ratna, Indian's highest civilian award, in 1998, for his role in ushering Green Revolution.

Food sovereignty

"Food sovereignty", a term coined by members of Via Campesina in 1996, asserts that the people who produce, distribute, and consume food should control the mechanisms and policies of food production and distribution, rather than the corporations and market institutions they believe have come to dominate the global food system. It also encompasses the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. The phrase "culturally appropriate" signifies that the food that is available and accessible for the population should fit with the cultural background of the people consuming it.

Green Revolution in India

The Green Revolution in India refers to a period when Indian agriculture was converted into an industrial system due to the adoption of modern methods and technology such as the use of high yielding variety (HYV) seeds, tractors, irrigation facilities, pesticides, and fertilizers. This was part of the larger Green revolution endeavor initiated by Norman Borlaug, which leveraged agricultural research and technology to increase agricultural productivity in the developing world.The Green Revolution within India commenced in the early 1960s that led to an increase in food grain production, especially in Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. Major milestones in this undertaking were the development of high-yielding varieties of wheat, and rust resistant strains of wheat. However, agricultural scientists like M.S.Swaminathan and social scientists like Vandana Shiva are of the opinion that it caused greater long term sociological and financial problems for the people of Punjab and India.

Gurcharan Singh Kalkat

Gurcharan Singh Kalkat (17 June 1926 – 27 January 2018) was an Indian agricultural scientist and the founder chairman of the Punjab State Farmers Commission (PSFC), known for his contributions in bringing the green revolution to Punjab. The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest Indian civilian honour of Padma Shri in 1981 and followed it up with the third highest Indian civilian award of Padma Bhushan in 2007.

Hot, Flat, and Crowded

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—And How It Can Renew America is a book by New York Times Foreign Affairs columnist Thomas Friedman, proposing that the solutions to global warming and the best method to regain the United States' economic and political stature in the world are to embrace the clean energy and green technology industries. The title derives from the convergence of Hot (global warming), Flat (globalization, as discussed in Friedman's book The World Is Flat) and Crowded (population growth).

The book was released on September 8, 2008, by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The audiobook was released simultaneously by Macmillan Audio. The cover art is taken from Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights.

Release 2.0 Updated and Expanded was published in November 2009.

Indira Gandhi Canal

The Indira Gandhi Canal the longest canal of India . It starts from the Harike Barrage at Harike, a few kilometers below the confluence of the Satluj and Beas rivers in the Indian state of Punjab and terminates in irrigation facilities in the Thar Desert in the north west of Rajasthan state. Previously known as the Rajasthan Canal, it was renamed the Indira Gandhi Canal on 2 November 1984 following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The canal consists of the Rajasthan feeder canal with the first 167 kilometres (104 mi) in Punjab and Haryana state and a further 37 kilometres (23 mi) in Rajasthan followed by the 445 kilometres (277 mi) of the Rajasthan main canal, which is entirely within Rajasthan. The canal enters Haryana from Punjab near Lohgarh village then runs through the western part of the Sirsa district before entering Rajasthan near Kharakhera village in the Tibbi tehsil of the Hanumangarh district. The canal traverses seven districts of Rajasthan: Barmer, Bikaner, Churu, Hanumangarh, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, and Sriganganagar.

International Rice Research Institute

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is an international agricultural research and training organization with headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna in the Philippines and offices in seventeen countries with ~1,300 staff. IRRI is known for its work in developing rice varieties that contributed to the Green Revolution in the 1960s which preempted the famine in Asia.The Institute, established in 1960 aims to reduce poverty and hunger, improve the health of rice farmers and consumers, and ensure environmental sustainability of rice farming. It advances its mission through collaborative research, partnerships, and the strengthening of the national agricultural research and extension systems of the countries IRRI works in.IRRI is one of 15 agricultural research centers in the world that form the CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers, a global partnership of organizations engaged in research on food security. It is also the largest non-profit agricultural research center in Asia.

M. S. Swaminathan

Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan (born 7 August 1925) is an Indian geneticist and international administrator, renowned for his leading role in India's Green Revolution, a program under which high-yield varieties of wheat and rice seedlings were planted in the fields of poor farmers. Swaminathan is known as the "Father of Green Revolution in India" for his leadership and success in introducing and further developing high-yielding varieties of wheat in India. He is the founder of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation [12]. His stated vision is to rid the world of hunger and poverty. Swaminathan is an advocate of moving India to sustainable development, especially using environmentally sustainable agriculture, yipee sustainable food security and the preservation of biodiversity, which he calls an "evergreen revolution."From 1972 to 1979 he was director general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. He was Principal Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture from 1979 to 1980. He served as Director General of the International Rice Research Institute (1982–88) and became president of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in 1988.

In 1999, Time magazine placed him in the 'Time 20' list of most influential Asian people of the 20th century.

Mohinder Singh Randhawa

Mohinder Singh Randhawa or M. S. Randhawa (2 February 1909 – 3 March 1986) was a Punjabi civil servant, botanist, historian, art and culture promoter and prominent writer. He played major roles in the establishment of agricultural research in India, the Green Revolution in India, resettling Punjabis uprooted by Partition, establishing the city of Chandigarh and documenting the arts of Punjab, the history of agriculture in India. A biographer, Gulzar Singh Sandhu, gave him the sobriquet Punjab da Chhewan Dariya, the sixth river of Punjab.


Moshav (Hebrew: מוֹשָׁב, plural מוֹשָׁבִים moshavim, lit. settlement, village) is a type of Israeli town or settlement, in particular a type of cooperative agricultural community of individual farms pioneered by the Labour Zionists during the second wave of aliyah. A resident or a member of a moshav can be called a "moshavnik" (מוֹשַׁבְנִיק).

The moshavim are similar to kibbutzim with an emphasis on community labour. They were designed as part of the Zionist state-building programme following the green revolution Yishuv ("settlement") in the British Mandate of Palestine during the early 20th century, but in contrast to the collective kibbutzim, farms in a moshav tended to be individually owned but of fixed and equal size. Workers produced crops and goods on their properties through individual and/or pooled labour and resources and used profit and foodstuffs to provide for themselves. Moshavim are governed by an elected council (Hebrew: ועד‎, va'ad, lit. committee). Community projects and facilities were financed by a special tax (Hebrew: מס ועד‎, mas va'ad, lit. committee tax). This tax was equal for all households of the community, thus creating a system where good farmers were better off than bad ones, unlike in the communal kibbutzim where (at least theoretically) all members enjoyed the same living standard.

Norin 10 wheat

Norin 10 wheat (小麦農林10号) is a semi-dwarf wheat cultivar with very large ears that was bred by Gonjiro Inazuka at an experimental station in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. In 1935, it was registered as a numbered cultivar by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Nōrinshō (農林省). Norin 10 grew to just two feet tall, instead of the usual four, which made it less prone to wind damage.

Norin 10 provided two very important genes, Rht1 and Rht2, that resulted in reduced-height wheats, thus allowing better nutrient uptake and tillage (when heavily fertilised with nitrogen, tall varieties grow too high, become top-heavy, and lodge).Cecil Salmon, a biologist and wheat expert on General Douglas MacArthur's team in Japan after 1945, collected 16 varieties of wheat including Norin 10, and sent these seeds to Orville Vogel. These samples were used in 1952 by Norman Borlaug and collaborators and crossed with Mexican traditional varieties. They obtained the high-output varieties which were tested in India (Lerma Rojo 64 and Sonora 64) during the Green Revolution.

Norin 10 helped developing countries, such as India and Pakistan, to increase the productivity of their crops by approximately 60% during the Green Revolution.

Norman Borlaug

Norman Ernest Borlaug (; March 25, 1914 – September 12, 2009) was an American agronomist and humanitarian who led initiatives worldwide that contributed to the extensive increases in agricultural production termed the Green Revolution. Borlaug was awarded multiple honors for his work, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Borlaug received his B.S. in forestry in 1937 and Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics from the University of Minnesota in 1942. He took up an agricultural research position in Mexico, where he developed semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties. During the mid-20th century, Borlaug led the introduction of these high-yielding varieties combined with modern agricultural production techniques to Mexico, Pakistan, and India. As a result, Mexico became a net exporter of wheat by 1963. Between 1965 and 1970, wheat yields nearly doubled in Pakistan and India, greatly improving the food security in those nations.Borlaug was often called "the father of the Green Revolution", and is credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation. According to Jan Douglas, executive assistant to the president of the World Food Prize Foundation, the source of this number is Gregg Easterbrook's 1997 article "Forgotten Benefactor of Humanity." The article states that the "form of agriculture that Borlaug preaches may have prevented a billion deaths." He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to world peace through increasing food supply.

Later in his life, he helped apply these methods of increasing food production in Asia and Africa.

Orville Vogel

Orville Vogel (1907–1991) was an American scientist and wheat breeder whose research made possible the "Green Revolution" in world food production.

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